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Monday, February 20, 2017

As Nintendo Switch Hype Builds, So Does Nintendo Switch Hate

We are less than two weeks away from March 3rd, the launch of the Nintendo Switch. I won't be picking up the console at launch because I couldn't pre-order it in time, but I'm just as excited for the system as anyone else. In fact, I've grown more hopeful for the Switch as more news has come out. But as we get closer to the Switch launch, Nintendo haters and console ware fanboys are coming out in full force 

It is no secret that the Switch is not as powerful as the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4. This is something haters are quick to throw in the face of anyone looking forward to getting a Switch. And yeah, said haters are correct. While the Switch is an HD console, the PS4 and XBO outclass it in the specs department. And yet, both the XBO and PS4 are outclassed by a little system called a PC. Even a low end PC will take both of those systems to school. The most powerful system for gaming is a device that pretty much everyone already owns. I wouldn't mind the Switch being more powerful but $300 for an HD console that can be played at home and on the go, I don't mind the compromises. Between the PS2, the GameCube and the first Xbox, the PS2 was the weakest of the bunch but it still outsold the competition because of the games, not because of tech specs.

The Switch comes with an initial 32 GB of hard drive space and I originally thought that was a diminutive amount of storage space. The Wii U also had the same storage space to start and unless you were buying all of your games digitally, it was a decent amount of space for storage. I still haven't exhausted all of the Wii U's 32 GBs. 500 GB seems like a huge amount of space for storage on the PS4 but the games have to be installed and some of those games take up a huge amount of space. Mind you, this is the case for both physical and digital PS4 games. Stories about PS4 owners having to uninstall games just to make space on the PS4 hard drive are all too common. The PS4 Pro is an attractive buy for the 1 TB of space alone for those that don't already own a PS4. If you feel you'll burn through 32 GB of space pretty quickly, SD cards made for the Switch are available to remedy the problem. Like the Wii U, Switch games will run off the game card, which will help save space.

Apparently, the Switch isn't a true portable because you can't fit it in your pocket. Huh. I was not aware that a portable system wasn't truly portable unless you could carry it around in your pants. You know what also didn't fit into most people's jeans? The original Game Boy. Not that that little hiccup prevented gamers from playing hours of Tetris or the first and second generation of Pokemon games. Heck, the Game Boy was inferior, hardware wise to the Game Gear and Lynx, both portables that boasted color and superior visuals but the Game Boy trumped both of those portables with a healthy 10 hour battery life and a much better library of games. Long before the Game Boy's Pocket and Color models were released in 1996 and 1998 respectively, the Game Boy was printing money for Nintendo despite being a brick. Hm, I guess the iPad isn't a true portable either because I can't fit it in my back pocket. And yet, people are always using them at home, on buses, trains, airplanes, etc. Last I checked, not being pocket sized has hardly been detrimental to a portable system's longevity. Did we suddenly start living in a world where book bags don't exist?

I very much doubt the Switch not being pocket
sized will be much of a problem. At all.
And the Switch costs too much! And if you want an extra Joy-Con that's an additional $70! The Switch doesn't come with a pack-in game so I'm already looking to spend over $400 on launch day! Oh noes! Sigh. The PS4 launched at $400 with no game included. An additional Dual Shock 4 did and still does cost $60. The 360 launched at $500 with no pack-in game and another controller was not cheap. So it's perfectly fine to fork over more than $450 at launch on other systems but suddenly it because far too costly when you might spend that much on a Nintendo system on launch day? I won't argue that the Joy-Cons are inexpensive but with the purchase of a Switch, you're getting two controllers right out of the box with much better battery life than what Sony and Microsoft are offering. Yes, the Joy-Cons are $10 more than a Dual Shock 4 but $60 is still pretty freaking pricey. Controllers for in general are expensive, not just the Joy-Cons.

The launch line up sucks! OK, so Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey aren't launch titles. Sure, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is at launch, but it is also hitting the Wii U on the same day. Was the PS4 and XBO launches really any better? Heck, even the 3DS launch, a system that is killing it, wasn't very hot. If we've learned anything from console launches it is that even a sub-par launch does not doom a system. And if you can't get excited for Super Bomberman R, you should probably see a doctor.

Gamers, both hardcore and casual alike are talking about the Switch. I think it's great that there is a great deal of excitement surrounding Nintendo's new machine. The Switch is easy to develop for and Nintendo make it easily accessible for third party developers, which is probably the reason we're seeing so many line up to make games for the thing. Do I still have concerns? Of course. That one "free" digital game a month deal sucks and I'm hoping online play is smooth and that third parties don't jump ship, but right now is a time to get hype. 

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